Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

ONDCP Concerned about Alcohol as 'Gateway' Drug

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

ONDCP Concerned about Alcohol as 'Gateway' Drug

Article excerpt

ONDCP Concerned About Alcohol As `Gateway' Drug

Herbert Kleber, MD, newly installed Deputy Director for Demand Reduction in the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), said his office "is very concerned about alcohol" in framing strategies for drug abuse prevention.

Kleber made his first public address to an ADAMHA conference on self-run, self-help recovery homes sponsored by Oxford House, Inc., in Washington, DC, following his confirmation by the Senate as ONDCP Director William E. Bennett's top aide for prevention and treatment.

Asked by Riley Regan of the New Jersey Division of Alcoholism whether ONDCP would be doing anything to address the nation's problem with alcohol -- "the primary drug of abuse," Kleber said, "The key issue is not that Secretary Bennett does not have concerns about (alcohol); his mandate from Congress is very clear, and it does not include alcohol as part of his mandate. So unless you want to go to Congress and change our mandate, the mandate is clear. Alcohol use among adults is not our mandate."

But Kleber said that in the prevention area, "you are talking about alcohol basically as an illicit drug for people under the age of 21. …

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